Coronavirus: GBC journalist directed to self-quarantine after meeting Norwegian Ambassador

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A journalist with the state’s broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), has been instructed by the Ministry of Health to observe a mandatory self-quarantine effective Sunday.

The journalist, who is also a student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) is said to have come into contact with the Norwegian Ambassador at the Norwegian Embassy after an assignment at the mission on Tuesday.

The directive came shortly after the ministries of information and health, and the Ghana Health Service on Sunday announced that a top Norwegian diplomat in the country, as well as five Ghanaians, had contracted the novel coronavirus.

The ministry’s directive forms part of a contact tracing exercise to locate all persons who have come into contact with the said victims.

The traumatised journalist disclosed that he is living in fear because he has not been feeling well for some time now.

He explained the Norwegian Ambassador was the only white foreigner he came into physical contact with at the embassy.

He added that, he interviewed the Ambassador and took his card but did not shake hands with him.

The journalist who was on campus last Saturday and Sunday is said to have made several contributions in class with the only microphone which went round – shared by lecturers and the students.

“That Friday I went to Noguchi. I called Prof Abraham and told him how I was feeling. He said it is normal stress and that I shouldn’t worry. So I forgot about it, in fact, I would not have come to school.

“The people conducting the contact tracing called me this evening and said they are checking up on me because I am on their list as part of people who have come into contact with persons with coronavirus and so I need to be self-isolating myself and that from tomorrow they will come and take my temperature and run some few tests on me. They said I should not go out from today,” he said.

The GBC journalist noted, efforts to get a preliminary assessment by health officials proved futile but he is prepared to cooperate with health authorities as part of measures to know his status.

The worried journalist hinted that persons including Niyi Ojuolape (UNFPA Country Representative to Ghana), a former gender minister and a lot more people were present at the said event at the embassy.

“I understand some other staff [of UNFPA] have also been told to self-quarantine...The programme was done in collaboration with the embassy so top government officials were there...," he told abcnews.

“...I am still feeling the way I was feeling before – I feel tired in a way and I don’t know what to do right now. When I think about it, I fear for my life."

The said journalist is yet to be tested for the novel coronavirus but is under self-quarantine at home.
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